Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Dying in Faith (2 Timothy 4)

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7).

When Paul faced death, he possessed a great assurance of his eternal life with God—an assurance that was anchored in faith as he put his hope in a risen Savior. Paul’s confidence rested in the knowledge that by God’s grace his faith had endured and that he had persevered to the end: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7–8).

Death is one of the greatest fears that plagues mankind. This should not surprise us because death is the result of sin—it is the just and promised punishment for rebellion against God. Yet the terror of death does not need to hold the Christian in bondage as it does the pagan. We know death is common to all people. We don’t even need to ask the question, “Will I die?” Instead, we should ask, “How will I die?” Will you the in a state of faith or in a state of sin? Those who face death yet do not believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord will die in their sins and then face the wrathful judgment of God. However, those who the in faith will be crowned in righteousness.

The Christian need not fear death because he knows that a glorious life awaits him in the presence of his heavenly Father. Paul held onto and focused on this hope when he faced death, and he offered encouragement to all Christians reminding them of their same hope. Despite this encouraging passage, many Christians do not cherish this hope as they face death. They often ask, “Is my faith true?” Can a Christian have assurance of his salvation? According to Paul, a Christian can have that assurance. If you have repented of your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ as your only hope for salvation, if your life has produced fruit and you have continued to believe in Christ as your Savior and Lord, you can have that assurance. If you long for Christ’s return and endeavor to love and obey Him in all things, you can put away all fear of death and be assured that there is a crown of righteousness in store for you.

How will you die? Meditate on today’s passage and ask God to give you the comfort Paul experienced. Examine your life and examine your faith. Do you truly long to see Christ as Paul did? If you find you do not have such faith, ask God to give it to you.